Struggling to hold on to your hard-earned leads? Lead Nurturing can come to your rescue if you do it right. Lead Nurturing is a process that has the potential to turn your leads into customers by building a relationship with them who are not ready to buy yet. A progress from strangers to prospects to customers – is the process of lead nurturing.
It isn’t an individual effort, but an effort put together by the marketing and the sales team of an organization. The marketing and sales teams discuss their lead nurturing agenda; define what a lead is and gather important information about the lead and how to engage them. Developing a lead nurturing process will look like this:
Once you have leads in your pipeline, how do you nurture them? We discussed why you need to harness the power of lead nurturing in our previous blog (read here).In this blog, we will tell you how you can harness the power of lead nurturing the right way. Here’s the answer! Support your lead nurturing program with high quality content. If you think content is fading away, then you need to think again. Content is still the king and that’s why it is important to supply the right content at the right time as soon as you understand where your leads are in the buying cycle.
Different types of content will nurture different types of leads for you in different stages of the selling cycle. Understand what information your prospects are looking for and churn out email content that would speak to your audience. Here is how we have been planning our lead nurturing content marketing strategy based on the placement of leads at each stage of the funnel. You can consider these parameters as you plan your content strategy to nurture leads.
Top of the Funnel (TOFU) – New Lead Engagement
How do you engage a new lead that has inquired and filled out a form?
a) Send them a personal email thanking them for the inquiry, inform them about your products, services, and brand, and also provide them with the right calls-to-action.
b) Send them a series of emails over a period of time that provide contextual information related to your product (with downloadable documents, if needed).
With a very long sales cycle, you might have to consider a lead nurturing strategy that definitely involves sending contextual content pieces that create value for your prospects and keeps you on top of their minds. These are the types of content pieces that you should focus on:
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) Content Engagement
Once you know that your prospects have entered the middle of the sales funnel, you need to educate them more. Stay in touch as they are considering your competition as well. Why? Because they are weighing a lot of options and you don’t want to lose them. If they want more product details, give them all the information they want and handle typical sales objections, that might act as their barriers to the sales. At this stage, you can create content in the following form:
• Case studies
• More in-depth whitepapers
• Competitive Evaluation
Keep this saying in your mind, “You need to convince and convert”.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) Content Engagement
Your prospects have reached the bottom of the funnel and are ready to turn into customers, what should you be doing now? Yes, bring on more content! Don’t stop engaging with them. Make them realize that your offering is the right choice and establish that authority. Include content pieces like:
• Recent press releases and news coverage
• Industry reports that highlight your expertise
• Video testimonials of customers who have already bought your product.
• The best content from your social media posts that got the maximum engagement.
While creating the lead nurturing content, it is important to map out the next steps for your prospects. Once you are aware of mapping content for your different lead nurturing campaigns, it becomes easy to make some tweaks in your messages, email sending frequency and calls-to-action based on feedback.
So start a regular newsletter today and keep updating your list as new leads keep coming in. Set up rules in your automated CRM system for leads in different stages of the buying cycle.
Remember! During this entire lead nurturing process, you need to have patience. It will take time for your leads to say “Yes” to your proposal. The magical weapon of your content marketing needs to consistently add value while they consider competitors, weigh options and compare budgets. Calling often is not an option. You can’t hit them over the head with “Buy, buy, and buy!” Instead, keep delivering quality and relevant content and see how your leads get converted into sales.
Takeaway: Create the right content, run a good lead nurturing program, and see leads convert into your customers.